Russia votes in favor of referendum banning gay marriage

Russia votes in favor of referendum banning gay marriage
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Russia voted in favor of a national referendum that defines marriage exclusively as a union between a man and a woman.

The referendum consisted of hundreds of constitutional changes, including one provision that will allow President Vladimir PutinVladimir Vladimirovich PutinUN Security Council rejects US bid to extend Iran arms embargo Overnight Defense: US seizes Iranian fuel bound for Venezuela | Progressives cool on Biden's foreign policy | Takeaways from Israel, UAE opening diplomatic ties Has Congress captured Russia policy? MORE to serve two more terms, effectively allowing him to keep power until 2036.

The referendum was voted on the this week by the Russian public, with over two-thirds voting in favor of the numerous measures and solidifying Putin's position in leadership.

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President of the Human Rights Campaign Alphonso David, slammed the ban on gay marriage, calling Putin a "threat to the human rights of all."

“Russia is tripling down on its attacks on the basic human rights and dignity of LGBTQ people by adding constitutional prohibitions against marriage equality,” David said in a statement.

“Putin and his administration used propaganda brochures leading up to the election promising a return to ‘traditional family values,’ using marriage between loving couples as a wedge to push through his nefarious agenda. It is shameful, manipulative and malicious," he added. 

The LGBTQ community has long been discriminated against and persecuted in Russia. 

A 2014 Human Rights Watch report found that the country experienced a jump in anti-LGBTQ violence after Russia passed a law in 2013 criminalizing giving materials that promote same-sex relationships to minors. Pride events were banned in 2018. And last year, Moscow took steps to block LGBTQ groups from registering in the country officially, according to NBC News.